An abundance of snakes

While walking around the boardwalk at Reelfoot Lake, we came upon a large number of water snakes that were swirling ferverishly in the water.  We were not sure at the time what we were witnessing, but have since found out that it was a breeding or mating ball.  In the spring, female snakes put off a pheromone scent which attracts males.  The male snakes then track the female, and a breeding ball occurs when there are many males competing over the same female.  In these photos, the female is the largest snake.

And since pictures don’t do the situation justice, here is a short video clip that gives a better idea of what a breeding ball looks like.

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  ~Alfred Hitchcock

Migrating Monarchs

So glad to see the Monarch butterflies back in our area after making their spring migration.  They arrived here around the middle to end of April.  These photos were taken on April 28.

“But even if I’m left high and dry at the end of this wild journey, just taking it is a great feeling.”  ~Olivia Wilde

A sea of yellow

Bright-yellow Bulbous Buttercups are in full bloom in the fields and along the roadsides of West Tennessee.  These non-native plants are considered wildflowers by some — and invasive and noxious weeds by others.  Although they add beauty to the landscape, they also  compete with native plant species and are mildly toxic to livestock.

“I’ve learned … that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.”  ~Unknown

Along the walking trail

One afternoon this week we enjoyed a pleasant stroll along a greenway near our home.  Part of this trail goes through land upon which a railroad right-of-way once ran, including an old railroad bridge.  Here are a few shots of the rural scenery that were taken along the way.

“Somewhere between the start of the trail and the end is the mystery why we choose to walk.”  ~Unknown

The duck family

We saw this duck family in a nearby pond.  Though the drake was present, the mother duck was definitely the one in charge.  It was fun watching her lead and guide the ducklings around, both in the water and out.

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.”  ~Unknown

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are once again migrating through on their journey to their breeding grounds up north.  Like clockwork, they stop over each spring to rest and dine on seeds from the feeders before continuing on their way.

“There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven.”  ~Ecclesiastes 3:1